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Chicago Bears Mythbusters: Does Jay Cutler have a losing record in Prime Time Night Games?

Jay Cutler has a reputation for losing nationally televised prime time games. This is simply bogus, and the stats speak the truth.


The other day a discussion broke out in one of the WCG comment threads about the mainstream media (MSM) and how they like to hold onto narratives long after facts change.

By the MSM rehashing the same story over and over, eventually the fans start to believe what they hear. And when it comes to Jay Cutler, the often misunderstood quarterback of the Chicago Bears, this is really the case.

We have the body language, the facial expression, the aloofness, the attitude, his mechanics, the red zone interceptions, and the losing in prime time story lines. Unfortunately the first few are never going to completely go away, because there's a part of the NFL fan base that just can't stand Jay. The networks can have their cameras pointed at a happy Jay Cutler nine times out of ten, but some people will only remember the scowl on that tenth shot.

The poor mechanics narrative is already starting to dissipate, partly due to the Quarterback Whisperer, Marc Trestman. Trestman's reputation for "fixing" QBs is well known, and we're already starting to see the fruits of their labor. I'm sure that has a little something to do with his offensive line not allowing a jailbreak every other snap, but it is what it is.

After Jay threw a boneheaded pick while just a yard from a score last week, the naysayers immediately started griping on how Cutler is an interception machine inside the red zone. That's just no longer the case. That was his first red zone interception since 2010.

And that leads us to the perceived notion that Jay Cutler loses prime time night games.

With the Bears travelling to Pittsburgh this Sunday Night, callers phoning into sports talk radio, and social media chit chat has already begun talking about Cutler's failings at night. Again, this simply isn't true. Oh he's had a few stinker games in prime time, but he been under center for more wins than loses.

Here are all of Cutler's Sunday, Monday, and Thursday Nighters while a member of the Chicago Bears. (Thanks to David Taylor on the table assist!)

Opponent / Season Night W/L - Score Comp Att Yards TD INT Sacked
at Green Bay / '09 SUN L 21-15 17 36 277 1 4 2
at Atlanta / '09 SUN L 21-14 27 43 300 2 2 2
at San Fran / '09 THU L 10-6 29 52 307 0 5 0
Vikings / '09 *
MON W 36-30 OT 20 35 273 4 1 2
Packers / '10 MON W 20-17 16 27 221 1 1 3
at NY Giants / '10 SUN L 17-3 8 11 42 0 1 9
at Miami / '10 THU W 16-0 16 25 156 0 1 3
at Minnesota / '10 MON W 40-14 14 24 194 3 1 1
at Detroit / '11 MON L 24-13 28 38 249 1 0 3
Vikings / '11 SUN W 39-10 21 31 267 2 0 1
at Philadelphia / '11 MON W 30-24 18 32 208 2 0 0
at Green Bay / '12 THU L 23-10 11 27 126 1 4 7
at Dallas / '12 MON W 34-18 18 24 275 2 0 2
Lions / '12 MON W 13-7 16 31 150 1 0 5
Texans / '12 SUN L 13-6 7 14 40 0 2 0
**TOTALS 8W-8L 290 493 3256 21 23 40

*When I initially published this article, I inadvertently added Brett Favre's day instead of Cutler's. It has been fixed, and the totals adjusted accordingly.

**I missed the November 22, 2009 game vs the Eagles in which the Bears lost 24-20. Here's Jay's stat line from that day (24-43, 171 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int, no sacks), and once again, the totals have been adjusted. I think I need a vacation...


Five hundred's not bad, but if you were to go by what you hear, you'd think that he's never won a game under the lights. Like ever.

His rep for blowing night games started his first season in Chicago, in particular his first game as a Bear. Four interceptions against the hated packers. Yuck. Then he lost his next three prime time contests. But after the 0-4 start, he's 8-4 when the Bears are the only game on TV.

When you factor in that those nationally televised games are usually between two good teams, 8-8 is respectable. Could he be better? Of course, and we should expect better from him, but the media and the meatballs perpetrating the lie about him losing at night is just ludicrous.

Looking at the table more in detail, his interception total is aided by those three terrible games against Green Bay twice, and the Niners. He was also unable to finish two games; The nine sack first half against the Giants sent him to the training table early, and the knock out shot by the Texans also left him concussed.

In ten of the sixteen games the Bears and Cutler were the visitors, and their record in those games is 4-6. Is that an omen for this Sunday? Is Jay prone to losing on the road?

Getting even more specific, Cutler and Co. are only 1-5 on Sunday nights. But before anyone throws this stat out as proof that Cutler sucks on SNF, I'll ask that you explain the difference between being under the lights on Sunday as opposed to any other day of the week. A night game is a night game isn't it?

So what do you guys think? Do you think Jay and the Bears will pick up the win this Sunday Night, and help further shed his 'not ready for prime time' label?

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